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Could Your Food and Drink Choices Help Dissolve Blood Clots?


by Skye Sherman - May 20, 2019


Photo Credit: by Skye Sherman
Photo Credit: by Skye Sherman

Does the food we eat and the beverages we consume really play a part in the presence of blood clots in our bodies? And if it does, does that mean that our food and drink choices could possibly help dissolve blood clots?

In this article, we’ll take a look at what you need to know about blood clots. We’ll explore different food and drink that may fight against blood clots and take a look at anticoagulants as well as some good ways to lower your risk of blood clots. We’ll also take a look at blood thinner medications and some of the best medications to fight against blood clots.

If you have blood clots, are worried about them, or just want to take a proactive approach to your health, keep reading!

The basics of blood clots

Before we move forward, it’s important to understand the basics of blood clots. A blood clot is exactly what it sounds like: a clump of blood clotting together and potentially causing backup in your circulation system, which can be extremely dangerous if not lethal.

Blood clots most often show up in people who do not move around a lot, especially if they’ve had recent surgery or an injury. Older people, obese people, bedridden people, people born with congenital heart defects, and those taking hormones (such as birth control) are at a greater risk for developing blood clots. However, blood clots can even come from just taking a long trip in an airplane, bus, train, or car. The key is to keep moving around and get your circulation flowing regularly, even if you’re confined to a space that provides little opportunity for movement.

Symptoms of a blood clot can include new swelling, soreness, or pain in the arms or legs, redness of the skin, or sometimes even a warm spot. If you suspect or are worried you may have a blood clot, it’s essential that you call a doctor or head to the emergency room immediately. Blood clots are especially risky because they can break free and move to other parts of your body, such as your lungs, brain, or heart, causing extreme damage to your health or even death.

To combat blood clots, people often need to take anticoagulants, or blood thinners. We’ll discuss that in greater detail below. However--like most things when it comes to health--there may be a way to ward off blood clots by making smarter choices with the food and drink you consume. In the next section, we’ll take a look at food and drink that may fight against blood clots.

Blood-thinning food and drink: Your diet choices may fight against blood clots

Making certain food and drink choices may lower your risk of blood clots. While food and drink choices are not the only way to combat blood clots--and other lifestyle factors always play a major part, too--it only makes sense to stick with a diet that puts you at the least risk possible for developing a blood clot. You can avoid foods that are known to worsen your chances for developing a blood clot, and consume more foods that put you in a better place when it comes to your risk of developing a blood clot.

Everyday Health puts it this way. “Because we all have blood pumping through our veins, everyone is at some risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which blood clots form in veins deep inside the body. The bad news: DVT can lead to serious illness, disability, or, in severe cases, death. The good news: DVT is both preventable and treatable. One step you can take right now is changing your diet to prevent DVT. ‘Some foods do increase the risk for blood clots,’ said Steven Masley, MD, clinical assistant professor at the University of South Florida and author of The 30-Day Heart Tune Up.”

One of the recommended steps for fighting off blood clots through your diet includes drinking plenty of water--dehydration actually causes your blood to thicken up, which increases your chances of developing a blood clot--something you can easily monitor every time you go to the bathroom. If your urine is clear or very light yellow, chances are good that your water consumption is adequate. But if your urine is dark yellow, you should up your water intake. Make it a goal for yourself to get clear urine every time you use the restroom.

Another step for using your diet to ward off blood clots will be music to the ears of wine drinkers everywhere. Some research suggests that wine or grape juice made from purple grapes contains flavonoids, which help to make platelets and thereby lower your risk of blood clots. Consuming a moderate amount of drinks with flavonoids may help to decrease your chances of developing a blood clot.

Other foods that can stave off the development of blood clots include fresh garlic (it’s a natural blood thinner!), virgin olive oil, kiwis, and leafy greens. Each of these foods have properties that are associated with a lower risk of blood clots.

Medical News Today adds turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, vitamin E (found in nuts and oils), Chinese cassia cinnamon, ginkgo (a traditional Chinese medicine herbal supplement that has become popular in the U.S. and Europe), grape seed extract, female ginseng or dong quai, feverfew herbs, and bromelain (an enzyme extracted from pineapples) to the list of foods that can lower your risk of blood clots.

Another good move is to limit the animal fats you consume in your regular diet. Unhealthy trans fats, like the kinds of fats found in fatty meats and full-fat dairy products, can result in inflammation and are bad for your cardiovascular health overall, not to mention the fact that they can result in higher chances for blood clots.

In addition, you should make sure you’re getting in an adequate amount of servings of fruits and vegetables every day. According to Medical Daily, “A large body of evidence shows [that] increasing vegetable consumption is good for your heart. A 2004 study showed that eating five or more fruit and vegetable servings daily was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease or stroke compared to those who ate less than 1.5 servings a day. … [In addition,] the findings suggest at least a small lower risk of cancer among those who eat lots of vegetables.”

Still, as Medical News Today points out, “Many natural substances may reduce clotting to some degree. But natural remedies are unlikely to be as effective as blood-thinning drugs and people at risk of blood clots should not use them instead of prescription medications. Government authorities do not monitor herbs and supplements as closely as food and drugs. People should research the different brands carefully before buying to ensure they are known for quality and purity. People taking prescription blood thinners should not use natural remedies without talking to their doctor first.”

At the end of the day, keeping an open line of communication with your doctor and taking their advice is of paramount importance. You should make sure your diet falls in line with your health and wellness goals, but you should also ensure that you make use of any medications you may need.

Are anticoagulants the best way to fight against blood clots?

In many cases, doctors prescribe anticoagulant medications for those who have blood clots, are born into a family history of blood clots, or are at a higher risk of developing blood clots. These life-saving medications can be the key to ensuring you do not develop a blood clot.

However, it’s important to be aware that these anticoagulants and blood thinner medications do come with the risk of serious side effects. Excessive bleeding is one of the most common. Because the medicines are helping to thin your blood so that you lower your risk of developing a clot, your blood will be thinner than usual and will not coagulate or stop bleeding as quickly.

So, anticoagulants may be one surefire way of treating or preventing blood clots, but they do not come without their own set of drawbacks. When you discuss your blood clot treatment and prevention program with your doctor, you should explore all the possibilities and inquire whether these medications are the right choice for you. You may be able to supplement your blood clot prevention regimen with a combination of prescription medications plus proactive changes to your diet and lifestyle, depending on your specific situation.

Other ways to lower your risk of blood clots

While making smart food and drink choices may be able to help you lower your risk of blood clots, there are other lifestyle choices you should not ignore, too. Staying active and moving around frequently is one of the best ways to prevent blood clots since blood clots typically form in people who do not or cannot move around much. That means, if you’re able, you should make sure you are getting enough exercise and not sitting or standing for more than an hour at a time.

There are some other helpful steps you can take to lower your risk of blood clots and take your health into your own hands. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ),

“You can help prevent blood clots if you:

● Wear loose-fitting clothes, socks, or stockings.

● Raise your legs 6 inches above your heart from time to time.

● Wear special stockings (called compression stockings) if your doctor prescribes them.

● Do exercises your doctor gives you.

● Change your position often, especially during a long trip.

● Do not stand or sit for more than 1 hour at a time.

● Eat less salt.

● Try not to bump or hurt your legs and try not to cross them.

● Do not use pillows under your knees.

● Raise the bottom of your bed 4 to 6 inches with blocks or books.

● Take all medicines the doctor prescribes you.”

Warding off a higher risk of blood clots can be achieved through a variety of factors, not just your food and drink choices but also your level of movement and activity, your doctor’s advice and recommendations, and the medications your doctor prescribes you. If you follow your doctor’s orders, you pursue your greatest possible chances of preventing blood clots and protecting your own life.

Blood thinners and medications to fight blood clots

Wondering what to take to fight blood clots? In addition to recommended diet and lifestyle choices, many doctors prescribe blood thinners, anticoagulants, or other medications to patients who are at risk of developing a blood clot or who have had a blood clot before in the past. These are prescription medications that should only be taken at the direction of your doctor, and you should follow the directions for taking them carefully.

There are a variety of anticoagulants on the market. Some of the most common include Coumadin, Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Savaysa. These medications also have generic equivalents which can be an even more affordable option. While all of these are blood thinners used to treat blood clots, they are not all made of the same chemicals, so it’s important to know exactly which one your doctor wants you to take and why. Sometimes, blood thinners are taken in pill form, whereas other anticoagulant medications are delivered as injections. Discuss with your doctor which anticoagulant medication would be best for you and your needs.

Which is best for you? See our comparison charts below.

Comparison Chart 1: Coumadin vs Eliquis vs Pradaxa vs Savaysa vs Xarelto
Comparison Chart 1: Coumadin vs Eliquis vs Pradaxa vs Savaysa vs Xarelto

Comparison Chart 2: Anticoagulant Drug Price Comparison Chart (for a monthly supply)
Comparison Chart 2: Anticoagulant Drug Price Comparison Chart (for a monthly supply)

Here at Canada Pharmacy Online, we offer a variety of anticoagulant medications. You can buy Eliquis, Pradaxa, Xarelto, Savaysa, and Coumadin right here on our site. The best part of ordering from us is that you can get your prescriptions shipped right to your door, without having to worry about making a trip to the pharmacy. Plus, in many cases, we offer medications that cost less, taking away from the stress surrounding medical bills and healthcare costs. Cheap anticoagulants that are conveniently delivered to your doorstep at a fraction of the usual price? Yes, please!

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